there was a tenderness yesterday
a quiet encounter with grace
some holy moments
the time had come for a pastor friend to leave
the pasture he had been tending for ten years .......
this was man's decision
not God's ...........
in their wisdom
asked their shepherd to leave
and rather than fight
he pulled up his tent pegs
and acquiesced ......
he agreed to leave after one final service
anyone who wished to attend
was invited to this service
we were told there would be communion available
the pastor spoke a bit from Nehemiah,
one of his heroes
then called us each by name to come forward
when he personally served us communion
as individuals or families
while speaking a word over each one
with tears streaming down his face
there was a river around the altar
a river of salty water
with quiet dignity
and abounding grace
he released that pasture
to the care of man ..........
I have to admit there is little that ruffles my feathers more than people who leave our church and accuse me of not caring. I also have a harder and harder time with people who spend their time complaining about pastors and church leaders (and 'the church') as if it's a recreational activity. I know there are bad pastors, and I'm as bad as they come, and sometimes they need to leave; but I wonder how many of these complainers lay in bed at night thinking about each and every person in their church community; how many of them even think about other people; how many try to be mindful of the 7-year-old and what will help her faith grow, or the 27-year-old and what will inspire him; or the 47-year-old, 77-year-old, and so on. How many burdens are you helping to carry; how often have you wept over the lives of those around you; how often do you pray for them??? It's so easy to say, "I think the church needs to be more like ______" when all we're thinking about is ourselves. Perhaps a more difficult question is, "What does God desire me to be more like?" I think perhaps I need more dignity.
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.
Peace out; and in.